The Hurricanes will try for their sixth consecutive home victory over the Senators on Wednesday night.
Carolina (8-9-0) fell 7-2 at Montreal on Saturday, two nights after an 8-1 home loss to Philadelphia. Coach Paul Maurice hopes his players will come out energized against the Senators.
“It’s difficult to take a team playing every second night, work on grinding defensive parts of the game and expect them to have anything left,” Maurice told the Hurricanes’ official website. “Clearly it’s an area that we have failed in our last two games.”
The Senators (9-8-1) are scoring 2.56 goals per game, and could provide a break for Carolina’s Cam Ward(notes), who pulled early in each of the last two losses, and saw his goals-against average climb from 2.75 to 3.12 after allowing eight goals in just under 62 minutes.
“I’m just like everybody else,” said Ward, who is 3-1-0 with a 2.25 GAA against Ottawa at home over his career. “I’ve got to hold myself accountable and come up with the big saves.”
Eric Staal(notes) leads the team with 11 assists and 17 points this season, and will look to extend a five-game points streak against the Senators, in which the Hurricanes captain has two goals and four assists.
The two-time All Star had a goal and an assist in Carolina’s only meeting with Ottawa this season, a 3-2 loss on Oct. 14.
“He did not get off to the start … with 30 goals (last season) he probably thought it would be a little different, but boy, I think he’s handled it well,” said Maurice.
Ottawa’s four-game road winning streak ended with a 5-1 loss to the Flyers on Monday.
Spezza is tied for second on the team with five goals this season, and has 13 with 18 assists in 25 career games against Carolina. Ottawa is 13-4-1 with one tie when Spezza records a point versus the Hurricanes.
Backup Pascal Leclaire(notes), who left early in the first period against the Hurricanes last month, is 0-3-0 with a 3.82 GAA in his career at the RBC Center. He also was replaced by Elliott after allowing two goals in the first 6:23 of a 4-1 loss on March 4.
Ottawa has managed one goal in each of its last five games in Raleigh.